My latest book: The Rocket Man
Some reviews of my latest book, The Rocket Man, about amazing pioneering aviators. Available on-line (Amazon, etc) and from bookstores everywhere.
"Darling provides an eclectic collection of aviation biographies in this delightful salute to a series of largely overlooked flight pioneers. Reaching back to trend-setting balloonist Sophie Armant, who was an early nineteenth-century celebrity until her fiery end, Darling then highlights a multitude of unsung heroes, including the inspiration for The Great Waldo Pepper (1975); the original X-Men (as in the men who flew the sound barrier–busting X-planes); and William Weaver, the Lockheed test pilot who survived the breakup of his SR-71 at a speed of Mach 3 and an altitude of 15 miles. An inspirational text full of can-do spirit, The Rocket Man will be well received by aviation aficionados and armchair adventurers everywhere." – Booklist
"Gripping... dazzling tales of madness and derring do." – Brian Clegg, author of Inflight Science.
'David Darling has cleverly avoided wheeling out all the old familiar names... a rollicking, rip-roaring tale. 4 stars.' – Popular Science
"Impressive." Wall Street Journal
"A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing." – BBC Focus
And my first album
Songs of the Cosmos contains 11 tracks – nine original compositions and two covers – some of them loosely based on ideas that I've written about in my books over the years together with personal thoughts and reflections. The songs range from progressive rock to acoustic ballads. Check out some samples here. Available to download from iTunes, Amazon, and many other on-line music stores.
Don't Know Where I'm Goin' (5:01)
Personnel: David Darling (vocals, acoustic guitar); Miroslaw Hodun: (arrangements, keyboards, misc. instruments); Julie Cleave (backing vocals); Simon Kennedy (guitar), Fraser Adam (bass); Scott Donald (drums); Graeme Watt (studio recording and mastering).
Hold Your Body (Next to Mine) (4:38)
Long Way to Go (3:52)
Dark Energy (3:32)
The One Song (4:33)
Hey Dreamer (3:26)
Mirror On My Soul (4:03)
Lose Yourself (5:12)
You've Got the Sun in Your Life (4:43)
My website dedicated to music
The dinosaurs might have survived – and then what?
A new study concludes that the dinosaurs were killed off about 65 million years ago by a perfect storm of events, including rising sea-levels and massive volcanic activity. If the asteroid impact that applied the coup de grace had arrived a few million years earlier or later than it did, the researchers suggest, the dinosauts may have been in better shape, in terms of their diversity, to survive. They would then have continued to evolve and adapt to changing conditions, and perhaps even have survived to the present day. How smart might they have become, and what might they have looked like?
Neptune's enigmatic big moon
Discovered on Oct 10, 1846, Neptune's moon, Triton, by William Lassell, while he was observing the newly discovered planet Neptune. Alone among big moons, Triton has a retrograde orbit, a feature it shares only with much smaller satellites, such as Jupiter's Ananke and Saturn's Phoebe. Since there is no way that Triton could have formed where it is with this backward motion, it must have originated elsewhere, perhaps in the Kuiper Belt, and later been captured by Neptune (if so, it would be the largest Kuiper Belt object known).
Albert Einstein: quantum pioneer
Mention Albert Einstein and the first thing that springs to mind is the theory of relativity, one of two extraordinary supernovae that burst upon 20th-century physics. Yet, incredibly, Einstein never won a Nobel Prize for relativity. His one Nobel medal (he surely should have got at least two), awarded in 1921 and presented in 1922, was for his pioneering work in quantum theory. If Planck hadn't fathered quantum theory that role may well have fallen to Einstein. As it was, Einstein was the first person to take the physical implications of Planck's work seriously.
My new album